My 50 Favorite Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas

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With three kids five and under to play Easter bunny with this year, I am all for coming up with ways to fill their Easter baskets without excessive amounts of candy, sugar-coated treats, or the ever-so-processed Peeps. I get the novelty of each of these items, but I know I can also jack my kids up about Easter without needing tons of added sugar.

I recognize that particularly with my oldest, she is more aware of the outside world and all the sugar that comes with it. As kids get older, it is normal for boxes of raisins to not be as exciting as well, just about anything that is branded for Easter. So my goal here is not to give the impression that all candy is bad or should be entirely avoided. This can create a bigger problem with preoccupation for such sweets and treats as highlighted in my past post, How to Handle Halloween Candy here.

My goal here is to share some ideas that are more creative than candy alone. I want to help spur on some fun, engaging, enjoyable alternatives to candy so that you can add them to whichever other items you and your family choose to include in Easter baskets.

For my family, we usually opt to add in a few candy items that I know my girls are into or would find fun. These are super exciting the day of and then quickly get forgotten about in the pantry. But the perception is that they are a part of the holiday - not forbidden but also not on the forefront.

I hope this post will help you and your family to find a balance that fits for you!

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50 of My Favorite Non-Candy Easter Basket Filler Ideas

In this post, I share some non-candy Easter basket fillers that are easily available, cost effective, age appropriate, and items you would actually want lingering around the house from Spring through Summer.

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas: To Eat

Stock up on some fun packaged snacks that you maybe don’t otherwise buy each week. Add a few in for some fun favorites!

  1. Packaged Snacks

  2. Applesauce pouches

  3. Carrot-shaped cellophane bags with Annie's Homegrown “Easter bunny” crackers

  4. Freeze-Dried Fruit

  5. Fruit Snacks

  6. Dried fruit

  7. Fruit Leathers

  8. Nourish Snack Bags

  9. Good 2 Grow Apple Juice with fun topper

  10. Vitamins

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas: To Eat With

I am all for using holidays to help restock everyday essentials, so this is a great time to buy new or replace old items used to eat and drink with!

  1. New plates or colorful dishes

  2. Reusable bags (these fit inside of larger plastic Easter Eggs too!) Use discount code VEGGIESVIRTUE15 for 15% off any sized Bumkins order

  3. Dylbug personalized plates Use discount code VEGGIESANDVIRTUE for 10% off

  4. Lunchbox Love lunchbox notes for kids

  5. Fun food picks or other novelty items

  6. Kid-safe knives

  7. A new water bottle

  8. New smoothie cups for spring with silicone straws

  9. Cookie cutters

  10. Kid-sized Popsicle Molds

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas: To Create With

  1. Playdough Kits

  2. Kid's Kitchen Tools

  3. Educational Items, like these fun “sprinkle letters”

  4. Kwik Paint Sticks

  5. Do-a-Dot

  6. Garden and Sand Tools

  7. Kinetic Sand

  8. New Markers

  9. Activity Books

  10. Sidewalk Chalk (how cute are these and these?)

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas: To Wear

  1. Bibs Use discount code VEGGIES10 for 10% off smocks for infants and bigger kids

  2. Kid's Cooking Apron

  3. Bunny apron

  4. Bunny PJs

  5. Sandals or Pool Sandals

  6. Hoodie swim towel

  7. Personalized beach towel

  8. Sunglasses

  9. Hair accessories (headbands, bows, clips, hair ties, or hats)

  10. Swim goggles

Non-Candy Easter Basket Ideas: To Play With

  1. Bubbles

  2. Bath Toys or Foam Letters

  3. Pool Toys

  4. Wind-up Toys

  5. Sticker Books

  6. Activity Books

  7. Water beads

  8. Water balloons

  9. Board books

  10. Kite


Want something to help celebrate the true reason for Easter?

"He told them, 'This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations,beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.'"  Luke 24:46-48

Candy-Free Easter Egg Filler Ideas

This post contains affiliate links. These do not cost you extra to use but provide Veggies & Virtue with a small commission from each sale. Thank you for your support of this small business!

There are several ways to celebrate the holiday weekend with fun, festive foods that aren't artificially colored or coated in sugar.

While I am not against Easter Egg Fillers or Easter Baskets that do include some sugar-sweetened options or a chocolate bunny (for some reasons similar to those addressed here), I know that there will be plenty of opportunities for our kids to hunt for candy and enjoy sweets and treats beyond the eggs we put out and baskets we fill.

That’s why in this week’s post, I want to encourage you to think outside the Cadbury egg for some fun, safe, low-sugar-added Easter Egg Fillers for Toddlers. From experience, I know families can have fun filling Easter eggs with enjoyable, age-appropriate finger foods instead of items like jelly beans and other hard candies that young kids could choke on. This will make you feel more at ease about their health and safety, while benefiting them in the big picture from a holiday that is about more than just sugar. We can foster an appetite for less sugar and yet keep all eyes on eggs that are still worth hunting for!

Here are My Top 20 Healthy Easter Egg Fillers for Toddlers and Preschoolers

All of these are easy ideas, appropriate for most ages! Help your kids get into the fun of Easter without all the unnecessary sugar and useless junk. Pick items you actually WANT your kids to own or eat, and you'll enjoy a weekend with endless Easter egg hunts all the more.

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10 Candy-Free Easter Egg Filler Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

1. MySuperFoods Hero Cookies or Granola Bites

2. Bitsy’s Brain Food Alphabet Shapes Smart Cookies

3. Annie's Homegrown “Easter bunny” crackers

4. Cheerios, Puffins, or other favorite whole grain cereals

5. Animal crackers

6. Mini boxes of raisins

7. Fruit snacks like Chum Fruit Bites

8. Mini Lara Bars

9. Freeze dried fruit like Crispy Green

10. Blueberries

Keep everyone “hoppy” with this in mind

If hiding these outside in areas with more moisture, some items may not stand up to the elements as well as your traditional wrapped candy (like crackers, cereal, and freeze-dried fruit). Consider hiding immediately before the hunt, doing indoor Easter egg hunts, or using small boxes of raisins or items like mini Lara bars for less perishable alternatives. 


10 Fun (non-food) Easter Egg Filler Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  1. Stickers

  2. Temporary tattoos

  3. Small bubble containers

  4. Written out Bible verses or jokes

  5. Small Safari-like Toob figures

  6. Hair clips/accessories

  7. Favorite character bandaids

  8. Coupons (as seen here)

  9. Mini stampers

  10. Mini Nail Polishes


Looking for even more fun?

Be the first of your neighbors to “Egg” another family. I shared when we did this idea last year as well, but we love this printable from the Littles & Me for a fun, faith-based egging activity with kids. Check out the post for more details on how to do this plus a free printable you can use once you have filled the eggs with many/any of the above candy-free Easter egg fillers!

Family-Friendly Meal Plan for Spring

Something each of us has to do by choice or necessity is meal plan.

In 2018 I shared more elaborate family-friendly meal plan ideas each week, but I found that there was something missing:

The value of sameness.

I am obviously a big fan of getting nutritional variety in our families. I am also a major advocate for our kids learning to like new foods. But as a stay at home mom of three who tries to work in the random wee hours of naps and night time, I find all the more that I don’t have the margin to make new, elaborate meals (i.e. anything that requires a recipe!) each week.

Instead, it is much more realistic in this season to have meals that I have already plugged into my Love it, Like it, Learning it framework. That way, I know that I can continue to re-expose my kiddos to a rotation of food options each quarter without becoming too reliant on repeating all of the same foods. With this, I also get to cycle through some known favorites while learning new recipes from the repetition of offering them a few times each season.

January 2019 was my first official meal plan, and I can honestly say having this monthly meal plan (that we rotated through a few times) was a huge help. It took the mental energy out of “what to make” each week and streamlined my meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prep routine tremendously.

That’s why I am yet again sharing our newest family-friendly meal plan for Spring here!

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Shop the Spring Seasonal Meal Plan Here!

What’s on the menu

There are a few repeated favorites from the first quarter of 2019, like spaghetti and taco night. I have changed up almost all of the other recipes though to include seasonal flavors and preparations (to use the grill over the oven whenever possible) as well more efficient means for making each night’s dinner (like the Instant Pot). I know for many families whether it be that you aren’t getting home from work and daycare pick-up until late or have kids starting soccer or swim and need to do dinner once you get home, dinner time is always a hustle. So although I am sure I will need to lean on doing some meal prep ahead of time to have some order to our new seasonal menu, I also want to be able to manage solo dinners before my husband gets home with a bit more ease and hands-free effort.

Every night’s meal is intended to fit within the Love it, Like it, Learning it framework based on my family’s current food preferences. As group coaching clients know though, any meal can be modified to fit your family’s unique desires and dietary needs. That’s why on each seasonal meal planning download, I offer a blank monthly meal plan as well for you to customize as your own. I hope you will enjoy some of the meal plans I will be offering my family! Remember though that these are intended to offer both ideas and inspiration, as well as to elicit some added brainstorming on your end for what you can and can’t make, do and don’t want to eat. So feel free to customize this in a way that fits your family’s lifestyle and Love it, Like it, Learning it preferences!

In short, here are the rotations for the weeks. Each menu option includes a main protein, starch, and vegetable option:

  • Sunday: Leftovers. We have small group here, so our own family doesn’t plan a menu for Sunday nights unless it is our turn to cook (which only happens once every six weeks). So I left this as a leftovers space on the seasonal meal plan since I had already planned five nights worth of cooking + one night “off” or out.

  • Monday: Seafood night. We rotate through the different types of fish or shellfish we have from our Fish Fixe box (see below for more info). My daughters have come to love almost all seafood, and growing up in the Pacific Northwest myself it is something that I want to make a regular part of our rotation.

  • Tuesday: Mexican or Asian. There are two weeks alternating some favorites from each of these two cuisine types. These make great leftovers too.

  • Wednesday: Pasta. We love pasta, so I enjoyed finding some new recipes for us to enjoy this Spring with noodles. Bonus is this night also makes for good leftovers to enjoy for lunch.

  • Thursday: Salad. If you follow me on social media, you know I love Build Your Own Salad Bars with kids. Instead of stacking them up vertically where all the elements are on top of each other, I spread the salad out on a large platter, add in some tongs, and allow the kids to self-serve their own “salads” (whether composed or completely deconstructed).

  • Friday: Grill. My husband works a lot, so we have pretty much decided that every Friday night we 1) don’t have the energy to go out, and 2) find the easiest way to unwind is out in the backyard where the kids can play and we can kick our feet up in the fresh air a bit. Spring is one of the ideal seasons in Houston, so before it gets so hot we might not want to eat outside, we are soaking up the chance to have ideal grilling weather in the coming few months.

  • Saturday: Date night or Pizza night. Admittedly, my husband and I have been terrible about making date night outs a priority since our third little one was born. Childcare has been a big hurdle for us, and our date night in intentions often end up by the wayside in the reality of family life. So this Spring, we have secured a new babysitter and plan to alternate family pizza nights in and couple date nights out.


Where we get our meat and seafood

I am an affiliate for both Fish Fixe and Butcher Box. We have bought these for our own family and even gifted them to others, as they offer high-quality, convenient, and cost-effective options for our protein options. I have my thoughts regarding food budgets saved to my Instagram stories if you would like to listen in, but in review I have found that ordering Fish Fixe and Butcher Box has allowed me to:

  • Keep a better budget with small weekly grocery shopping and bulk ordering our more-expensive grocery items (like meat and seafood) through these monthly subscription boxes

  • Store proteins in deep freezer so I have proteins on hand at all times, since we don’t live near a grocery store

  • Meal plan for the proteins that we have on hand or to select our subscription boxes based on the items we need

If you would like to order from either of these options, please use the affiliate links and discount offers below. These won’t up charge you in any way, but they do provide me with a small kickback to help continue my efforts in growing Veggies & Virtue.

  • Butcher Box: Use this link to claim your $20 off + a package of free bacon

  • Fish Fixe: Use this link and enter code “VEGGIESANDVIRTUE“ to get $10 off your first order

Want more meal planning resources?

I get questions all the time about meal planning. So to round up all the blog posts, printables, tips, and resources I have written on the subject to date, visit this newly created landing page for all things related to meal planning!

It includes:

  • Seasonal meal plans: past and present

  • Meal planning templates: available for download

  • Grocery lists: free download, for-purchase tear off pad, my 55 favorites from Costco list

  • Meal planning how to: my five step process

  • 2018 Meal Plans: six months of menu ideas


Pediatric Nutrition Resources

Please note each of the items on my Amazon shop are affiliate links. These do not charge you extra to use, but rather help provide me with a small commission from each sale to support my efforts with Veggies & Virtue. Thank you for your support!

I get lots of questions about what my favorite resources are for pediatric nutrition and picky eating, as well as my favorite cookbooks for families. That's why today I am sharing a bit more on both of these!

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My Favorite Resources for Pediatric Nutrition

As a pediatric dietitian, I am constantly reading through books, research articles, and other credible publications for up-to-date nutrition information. I find tremendous value in learning from others in my field and the expertise they offer. While I share a lot of this insight and advice directly with my one-on-one and group coaching clients, I know there are many parents who prefer to read and digest information on their own and to have these resources available in print to reference more often.

That’s why I wanted to share some of my favorite other resources with you in the realm of pediatric nutrition and picky eating.

You can find both an updated list on my amazon shop under, "Pediatric Nutrition Resources.”

First Bites Cookbook

Additionally, I wanted to tell you all about my friend Leigh Ann's cookbook, "Natural Baby & Toddler Treats.” I have included this cookbook (and the first edition of it) on my Amazon shop as well.

If you follow Leigh Ann on social media, you know her food photography in general is beautiful. But more than that, I love how she has created kid-friendly recipes that look and taste good enough for the whole family to eat. We are eager to try many of these recipes ourselves in the newest edition of this cookbook, especially as we continue introducing Owen to new foods. I know you will find enjoyable recipes in it too!

Here is an exclusive sneak peek into, “Natural baby & toddler treats,” from Leigh Ann herself!

Hi guys! I’m Leigh Ann from My Diary of Us and I am so excited to be guest posting today on Veggies & Virtue today to tell you all about my new cookbook, Natural Baby and Toddler Treats! I wrote this book at the time when my own son started eating solids and I felt so passionate about him getting the best nutrition from real food and wanted to share my passion with other parents too. I wanted to take the complication and stress out of it all (because let’s face it, it all can be very overwhelming) so that it could be a joyful experience that you and your babe to experience together!

My cookbook will show you how to take your baby on a journey of learning to love healthy food right from the start! My hope is that by exposing your child early to real food that is nourishing to their bodies, that you will end up with a child that is an adventurous and healthy eater for the rest of their lives! I have always been a foodie and when I was pregnant with my son I immediately knew that I couldn’t wait to introduce him to so many amazing flavors that would expand his palate.

Because I wrote this book at a time where life was busy and I was focused on my son’s eating more than my own, I decided to write a chapter just for us mamas with my favorite easy recipes to include in the book as well! As mamas we tend to put ourselves on the back burner when life gets a little hectic, and in reality it’s during these times more than ever that we need to keep ourselves nourished and healthy!

With this second edition of my book, I also wrote a new chapter with lunch box and snack ideas to get you out of your lunch box packing rut! Recipes like veggie loaded sloppy joes, short cut pork pot stickers, and healthy sweet potato brownie cookies, will add variety to your lunch game and they also double as freezer friendly recipes, great dinners, and snacks for the whole family!

My goal for you is that you will feel confident in the food that you are feeding your family as you work your way through this cookbook! All of my recipes are all family friendly, and not specific to babies and toddlers. They just so happen to be some of my favorite recipes that I made and still make for my son (and me and my hubby)!

I hope you will enjoy this book and feel the love that I put into the food as you cook in your own kitchen!

Spoonfuls of love.

Leigh Ann

I am thankful to be an online resource for you and your families. I hope the resources shared here also help to connect you with a few new options in print as well!

The Role of Nutrition in Child Development  

This post is sponsored by Healthy Height. All opinions are my own.


This mom shares:

I don’t know what to do about my son. He eats literally the same few things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day but that’s it. I used to try to feed him  what I was making for the rest of us, but he always refused. When he was 18 months old and small for his age, the pediatrician told me, “just get the calories in him...I don’t care if it’s with ice cream!” Ever since, I haven’t wanted to fight with him for each bite and just give him what I know he’ll eat so he gets the calories. But I am exhausted making separate meals and concerned over the quality of foods he chooses. I assumed as he  got older, things would be better. But it’s only gotten worse. His diet continues to be limited and he remains behind on his growth curve.

What do I do?

This week, I have partnered with Healthy Height to share with you the science, strategies, and solutions to helping nourish the growing child. I highlight how common this parent’s struggle is with nourishing a growing child, as well as some of the factors perpetuating such a problem. I also discuss some of the science behind how nutrition impacts growth in children and how not all calories nourish growing bodies the same. Then, I walk you through solutions for how to effectively nourish your growing child through healthier foods and feeding behaviors. To read more, visit the Healthy Height blog here.